A Muslim’s open letter to Bill Maher

Published: October 15, 2014

You are being immensely unintelligent when you lump together what you perceive to be “us”. I suggest you do your research, use your writers to provide credible, fair and historically correct information. PHOTO: AFP

Dear Bill (I hope you don’t mind if I call you Bill because it’s the nicest word I can use to describe you at this point),

We get it. You are an aggressive atheist, you abhor religions. For you, it is fashionable to be controversial. Being edgy is part of your job description. Congratulations, you are now so edgy that Bill O’Reilly of Fox News agrees with your views. ‘Bill the Liberal’ and ‘Bill the Conservative’ have now found common ground – Islamophobic bigotry.

Let me ask you, Bill, are you back-paddling out of the muddy creek you created on your HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, last weekend with your recent remarks:

“We’re liberals! We’re liberals? We’re not crazy tea-baggers, you know.”

Your definition of a liberal, and the responsibility of being one, is as ludicrous as ISIS’s distorted execution of Islam. You said,

“Liberals need to stand up for liberal principles… these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for [pointing to his audience], but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking, then they get upset.”

When did principles “like freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion…” become principles defended only by liberals? Your guest on the show, Sam Harris, added,

“Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy…”

Theocracy failed by liberals? Pandering much? These “principles” that you throw around are US constitutional rights championed by all liberals, non-liberals and anyone in between. Why must a liberal have a duty to “criticise” bad ideas where, according to Harris,

“Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.”

Feel free to stereotype almost 1.6 billion people worldwide because this is your God-given liberal duty? Really?

Since you have been pushing the envelope of bigotry, increasingly so in the past few years, I am glad Ben Affleck called you on it, if only to open a door for fair discussion. Go ahead and instigate debate on the general uselessness of religions. You may think Muslims can’t take a joke or two. ‘We’ can. What upsets ‘them’ is the persistent spin of Islamic views and utter lack of knowledge of the diverse 1.6 billion people so conveniently generalised and stereotyped.

Bill, can I ask you a simple question: what does the ‘Muslim world’ look like to you? What is the colour, race, age, or gender of the 1.6 billion people you casually label as “they”? Can’t answer this question? Don’t worry; there is no easy answer because we are not as homogeneous as you would make everyone believe “us” to be.

It seems that sometimes you are so in love with your own views that you argue to spread bigotry and not to understand the multitudes of varied Muslims who universally champion human rights and all the “liberal principles” you mentioned. What would you accomplish by asking liberals to criticise 1.6 billion people? Present the caricature of Islam and Muslims as one homogeneous evil and intolerant group of 1.6 billion people? Stop propagating hate by equating a small subset of the 1.6 billion people to the whole of the 1.6 billion people. This concept is not rocket science, but let me simplify it even further. Would you say: all the creatures of the sea are sharks? No, you wouldn’t because it is false and presents an incomplete picture of all the creatures of the sea. You are being immensely unintelligent when you lump together what you perceive to be “us”. I suggest you do your research, use your writers to provide credible, fair and historically correct information.

Now, Bill, you said,

“The only religion that acts like the mafia, that will %^&$*$@ kill you if you say the wrong thing.”

Do you even realise how unintellectual this statement is? A religion in itself can’t act like a mafia, only individual elements can. And no, I will not “%^&$*$@ kill you”, as you hypothesised, because I think you said a “wrong thing”. But I will not laugh either because Islamophobic bigotry is not funny. Let’s address the white elephant in the room you so enjoy beating it to death. Yes, Muslims face an array of issues based on their region of residence and geo-economical factors. Yes, a radical element has taken a very sadistic turn, and unfortunately shaped up to be the ISIS or the Taliban or the numerous other fundamental groups and regimes, but the majority of Muslims also abhor and stand up against these.

Thank you for highlighting the ad nauseum of the horrors of the ‘Muslim world’ but, for the sake of variety, let’s also talk about the majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims who are peaceful and tolerant. For example, talk about the fact that five out of the last twelve Nobel Prize winners have been Muslims, out of which three were Muslim women. Focus on these Nobel Prize winners who do not represent the horrendous minority segment you love to highlight to spread Islamophobic bigotry.

Can you please stop making each and every Muslim accountable for the actions of the small unrepresentative minority? Stop stereotyping and stop spinning what a Muslim may or may not believe. Understand, for example, I, as a female Muslim, have not been brainwashed and I definitely don’t need to be rescued by a ‘liberal’ like yourself. And please, do not act like I don’t exist. Muslim women exist and excel in many shapes and forms all over the world. We do have grievances and issues just as women of any faith or set of beliefs do, in any part of the world. But the issues we face are as diverse as the colours we are. In veils, in scarves or in skirts (depending on which premium cable and satellite television you follow) we have arrived. And we are here to stay. So might as well acknowledge and embrace our diversity.

In closing Bill, I request you to invite scholars to engage in a calm conversation about Islam to present real and representative views from all sides, and most importantly without the predisposed Islamophobic bigotry.

What do you say, Bill?

Salaam,

Faryal Malik

This post originally appeared here.

Faryal Malik

Faryal Malik

An Intellectual Property attorney by profession and an avid backpacker by passion. She aspires to be kind, humble and generous to attain peace in the journey of life. She tweets @desinewyorkers

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • MC

    Not worth reading.Recommend

  • Critical

    Lets say,there is a family with 5 kids…3 of them are good kids but 2 of them are very naughty…They run around breaking properties,getting into fights with others,calling others names….But the other kids and the mother refuse to see it and think their kids are all good….

    Soon,the neighbors get annoyed by these irrational behavior and confront the mother…The mother says you are trying to blame my kids,they are all innocent..Noone would do anything wrong..She then blames the Jewish neighbor spread wrong information about their kids..

    If the mother had kept their kids under control,then the neighbors wouldnt have confronted them..Similarly,if the “moderate” muslims stand against Extremists..then noone else would blame them…Recommend

  • Arshman

    This is the dumbest analogy. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. There are maybe at the most 10000. The ratio is 150000. That’s not even remotely equal to your fictional family. Simplistic arguments like yours are what complicate issues into things without solutions. Violent groups have existed during all times, this isn’t something new they just need new things to latch on to ad unfortunately this time around they’ve aside Islam their target.Recommend

  • Omar

    What a pathetic excuse for an article. A complete time waster.
    Express Tribune: I enjoyed the Islamophobia, Affleck & Maher article by Zara Hafeez a few days back so much more. That article was relatable and very articulate. Ms. Malik in your aspiration to find humbleness and peace, try by cutting out the hate speech in your words. Recommend

  • loboran tamzi

    Except the slight chance that the foolish might also be beheaded,given death threats instead of being replied with mild words of gentleness.
    this can also happen if the ‘foolish’ is being foolish by helping children and transporting aid in a country ravaged by war by the people who also claim to be servants of the beneficientRecommend

  • raw is war

    @ Faryal Mallik

    Pl take the criticism of Islam as oppertunitu to correct yourself. If you refuse to hear criticism, you will become much worse than beforeRecommend

  • loboran tamzi

    No they dont just do that,unfortunately Recommend

  • Ali Shah

    Good response against bigotryRecommend

  • AR

    I am so glad you wrote that!Recommend

  • JackZFlipper

    Stop trying to correct people who are way more smarter than you and try to fix what is wrong with your culture.

    . You see Indians trying to fix their problems, why isn’t any country trying to do the same?Recommend

  • Mona

    Interesting views. HBO host Bill Maher hates religions and had right to express opinion but his hatred for Islam and Muslims has been topic of controversy. needs addressingRecommend

  • Sahar

    I actually like Bill Maher but his recent comments were just intellectually weak. The author does a great job of pointing out Maher’s oversimplification.Recommend

  • pin2

    The same holier than thou attitude!! The sooner you guys snapout of it, the less damage you will do to yourselves.

    “Yes, a radical element has taken a very sadistic turn, and unfortunately shaped up to be the ISIS or the Taliban or the numerous other fundamental groups and regimes, but the majority of Muslims also abhor and stand up against these.”

    Recommend

  • Critical

    Theo Van Gogh,Salman Rushdie,have faced the mild words of gentleness

    and yeah,Theo Van Gogh also faced a mild stab in the heart from a gentle knife by the one of the slaves….Recommend

  • Punk

    “Your definition of a liberal, and the responsibility of being one, is as ludicrous as ISIS’s distorted execution of Islam.”

    Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    In condemning Bill Maher for attacking ALL Muslims (which he did not) for the acts of a “few,” the author seems to speak for all Muslims. .Recommend

  • Meral Ghafoor

    What Bill Maher said was correct!
    .
    He did not say that all 1.5 billions Muslims are terrorists. He said that the beliefs of a non-militant peaceful good Muslim are not coherent with a live-and-let-live policy of the west

    Stop being defensive without listening out.
    Recommend

  • N A Layak

    …the day we see street protests againt ISIS, taliban, LeT etc. in Muslim world…a vigorous protection of minority rights in Muslim majority countries….the absence of bigotry where Muslims in minority want equal rights but when in Majority want strict Islamic laws for all….that day dear author, the whole world will argue in favor of Muslims…but that day is unlikely to come and till then we will see passive aggressive apologists like you….Recommend

  • abhi

    I think Bill has provided a good opportuinity to defenders of faith.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Why do you take Bill Maher so seriously ?……..he’s a talk show host on American TV, plus he’s well educated and industry savvy and will say what is needed to get good ratings…..and its universal knowledge that ‘ bad ‘ sells so why should he highlight the ‘ good ‘ ?
    Why not try look at the criticism levied dispassionately……..because going into denial mode and taking a defensive attitude really does not help.Recommend

  • Nasir

    Faryal you wrote well… however, I would have added 60 million killings by liberals in WW2 and 37 million alone in WW1. So Bill Maher and Bill Riely can do simple math … thats about 100 million people killed by so called liberals, democrats, or western civilized people!! Yes, bigotry is there!Recommend

  • Robert Ijaz Shukri

    It’s so easy for Muslims and, particularly, Pakistanis to play the victim and be oblivious to the fact that some of the world’s heinous atrocities in contemporary times have been perpetrated by Muslims. Of course, it is wrong to paint the entire Muslim religion with the same brush, but the question begs an answer: do you not have any liberal Muslims among yourselves who can stand up to the small, intolerant and barbaric minority that has hijacked the faith and uses it to justify its heinous crimes? If such liberal-minded Muslims do exist, why do they remain silent or merely whisper against the barbaric acts of a few? Pakistanis, in particular, complain about the treatment of Muslims in other countries, but why do they not come out in defense of the ever-dwindling religious minorities in Pakistan such as Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmedis, whose persecution is openly carried out with the tacit approval or even connivance of the state actors? Does your religion or sect allow you to use defenseless minorities as fodder for your criminal acts? I think the writer, while rightly pointing to Bill Maher’s pilloring of Muslims, lacks credibility if she does not put things in perspective and also point out why the west and celebrities such as Bill Maher take up issues with Muslims. Failing this, she can go on whining about and lashing at Maher and his kind who, let’s not forget, have a large audience not just in America but worldwide that supports them. Lady, you don’t throw stones at others when you live in a glass house yourself. And the glasshouse called Pakistan is very, very fragile, no matter what you say.Recommend

  • Sane

    Faryal congratulations. you must have said something to wake up the trolls.Recommend

  • Striver

    @ Crtitical: There is a problem with your reasoning. It pretends to be dealing with the issue at hand but it is not. It creates its own useless extreme hypotheses and tries to discredit a very logical humane argument.

    Your reasoning shows your mind and emotions are confused. Recommend

  • Striver

    @raw is war: You make assumptions about Islam and Muslims which only a person with a closed mind can make; a person who has outsourced his thinking to others because he/she is too lazy to do the thinking themselves.

    Now I’ve made an assumption here that you can think. Is it the right assumption?Recommend

  • Striver

    You seem to be lying. If it was a waste of time reading it you further wasted you time writing your comments. Make up your mind.Recommend

  • Prashant

    “let’s also talk about the majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims who are peaceful and tolerant. ”

    I am not sure if every German wanted the holocaust to happen but it did due to some Nazis, a silent peaceful majority is as good as being non existent. It would be sheer hatred of Muslims to describe the entire community at fault but the minority among the Muslims who have lost their way seem to make the news all the time and you do not see the majority peaceful among the Muslims come out and take a stand against them rather it is the english speaking middle classes who start speaking about addressing root causes to avoid people getting hacked and chopped into pieces.

    “For example, talk about the fact that five out of the last twelve Nobel Prize winners have been Muslims, out of which three were Muslim women.”

    Yes and three of them have been disowned by their own.Recommend

  • Ivar the Driver

    Unfortunately in the light of recent event around the globe, I might have to take your argument with a pinch of salt. You can say that a religion (any for that matter) per-se can never be evil, the problem lies with its abusive interpretation that all our religions carry. unfortunately, for Islam the rising number of bigots have brought only bad news. Islam might not be a motherload of bad ideas but it is definitely being abused as a justification of one.Recommend

  • Richard

    Bill Maher is correct. (Bad) Religious ideas have to be confronted this 21st century.Recommend

  • a

    I fully agree with the author. However I think %^&$*$@ like bill %^&$*$@ are a minority and we should ignore these %^&$*$@ s. I watched a clip from the show and the guy seemed like total “%^&$*$@ Recommend

  • Jayman

    While the writer picks holes in the semantics, grammar and erroneous personification by Mr.Maher, I doubt if the substance of what he said was anything but the truth. It would have been nice if the author had the same courage to take the people to task who were responsible for this state of affairs. Silence does not constitute outrage.Recommend

  • Jayman

    Maybe that happens on La-La-Land. Not here on Planet Earth. Words are words. Deeds are deeds.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Until you get into identifying lacunae in your religion that need to be called out, there will always be people like the ISIS and Taliban on one side, and Bill Mahers on the other. Don’t just reply with mild words of gentleness, reply with mild words of meaning.Recommend

  • marik

    Hey miss Faryal Malik. Bill may be a snob but hes not all wrong. Recommend

  • Jor El

    Criticising Islam isn’t racist or bigotory. It is an opinion(a perverted one maybe but still an opinion).
    Calling muslims terrorists or whatever is bigotory. Its like calling a black man who happens to be a communist a commie. That isn’t racist. Calling him a negro is racist.Recommend

  • Jamor

    You have proved Maher’s point.The Muslim world cannot tolerate criticism.What did Maher say that is offensive towards Muslims “Equal rights for minorities and women .Freedom of speech.Freedom to practice your religion or to leave it”.When the moderate Muslims are brave enough to protest in the streets against these injustices the non Muslim world will see Islamic countries in a positive light.Turkey ,Malaysia and Indonesia are examplesRecommend

  • siesmann

    In the same vein,you should have also appreciated that 3 out of 5 panelists on the Bill Maher show were there defending Islam,and the 4th one was mostly neutral.And you yourself have mentioned that Mr. Maher is an atheist and against all religions.Recommend

  • Sane

    Very very correctly said. Congrats.Recommend

  • Sane

    Shortly Indian trolls shall jump into.Recommend

  • Anti Pseudo-liberalism

    You can control 5 kids in a house, but you can’t control thousands of people with militant mentality. What a stupid analogy you just gave!!!!Recommend

  • sarageet

    who is the mother in your scenario?Recommend

  • sarageet

    This is good to start a dialogue, to show bad and good. not only ALL bad:

    In closing Bill, I request you to invite scholars to engage in a calm
    conversation about Islam to present real and representative views from
    all sides, and most importantly without the predisposed Islamophobic
    bigotry.Recommend

  • WAleed

    You did a great job…. hatsoff to you…Recommend

  • RehmanMinority
  • RehmanMinority
  • Sane

    No criticism is acceptable on Islam and its teaching. You may criticize its followers.Recommend

  • Sane

    There is no bifurcation between moderate and extremist Muslims. Muslims are Muslims only. If any Muslim does any thing wrong contrary to what Islam teaches, this is their act not endorsed by Islam.Recommend

  • Sane

    Narendra ModiRecommend

  • marik

    Why not?Recommend

  • Prashant

    “No criticism is acceptable on Islam and its teaching.”

    While you go on and literally rip other faiths apart by your words?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    My reply has been made mild as well :)Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    Ms.Faryal you cannot criticize Islam because it is the Religion perfected by Allah SWT and he has named it “Islam” You can remind its followers to follow the true path of Quran & Sunnah.Recommend

  • Critical

    Thats what I want to ask….There are 1.6 Billion muslims in the world…And you say hardly 1% are terrorists.. Why the 99% of them keep quiet and when the non muslim confront,you start your “islam is peace” debate… Why dont you preach those who are straying into extremism?????

    Why its always the non-muslims who end up cleaning the mess you have created??? Why no muslim country is ready to send troops to fight ISIS,Boko Haram,Al Shahab etc??Recommend

  • Critical

    So why cant the 1.5 billion muslims stop the 10000 or lets say even 150000… Why do they just allow them to grow till the non muslims decide to take a stand and when that happens,the moderates come out of silence to defend that “Islam is peace etc”…..Recommend

  • Critical

    Mother represents the Muslim govts and mullahs who are supposed to lead their people by teaching them good values….Recommend

  • Jamor

    Read it and though positive,it needs people out in the streets protesting about injustice.How many people read English articles in the TribuneRecommend

  • abhi

    This is what Bill Maher told.Recommend

  • isapien

    Bill’s and Sam’s views are based on thethey observe. So place the blame where blame is due – on the violent Muslims who are truly vilifying Islam by insisting that Islam calls for such violence.Recommend

  • Sara

    Impressive counter-argument! Way to go, Faryal! Boldly written. It’s unbelievable how these ‘liberals” can get so “extreme” in their hate and malice.Recommend

  • Yo2Da2

    Wow! How did my post on a different blog show up on this one?Recommend

  • Mina

    Bill Maher is absolutely right. He never generalized 1.6 B muslims. He only criticized cruel ideology and its fanatics followers–(-NOT ALL 1.6 B muslims) . This is as clear as black and white or 2 plus 2 equals 4. Why are we even discussing this? It’s so stupid. I should know better; I am from South Asia.Recommend

  • PrasadDeccani

    Most of the trolls read this blog and posted a comment or two expressing their opinion. However, you seem to have taken ‘thekha’ to ‘protect’ this blog. You are all over.Recommend

  • observer

    “Can you please stop making each and every Muslim accountable for the actions of the small unrepresentative minority?”

    This is a very badly written and illogical article that shows the usual defensiveness and denial from many Muslims.Recommend

  • Noah

    Faryal, you are mistaken from the start. You render yourself apologist by simple pointing at ISIS and saying, “well, they are just doing it wrong!”. You are correct to implicitly concede that Islam is better when reformed (by ignoring large parts of the ‘canon’, as the Christians and J3ws have done), but you are wrong-headed not to acknowledge that these reforms came about by attacking the vile ideas in these ‘canons’. it’s time to attack apostasy as a horrible idea to enforce, attack martyrdom and violent jihad (manifest as genocide, killing of innocents, ONLY for the sake of genocide and killing innocents!).
    Maher and Harris didn’t say much more than this. But their implication that, “maybe they think they are doing it right and you are doing it wrong as (these) polls show, all backed up by actual Muslim canon.
    The Muslim who looks at ISIS and tosses a flip, “meh, they’re just doing it wrong.” is a coward who should be at the ideological forefront in the war against the terrible ideas to which they subscribe. Yet people like you, with the most power to reform Islam, toss down your own intellectual arms, provide obstacles to discussing these terrible ideas and, at worst, actually provide cover for maniacal fundamentalists.Recommend

  • Freeman

    Parvez, I agree with you. Here’s my suggestion for people who separate Muslims and Islam, and say that while attacking Muslims is fine but not Islam itself. But what is a “religion” (any religion) if one analyzes it rationally and dispassionately? Is it simply defined by the holy books (the ideology part) or is it defined by how people interpret and practice it? Isn’t it both? If there were no believers who practiced a religion, would we even consider that as a religion rather than simply as a work of fiction or philosophy? The written down portion of a religion – e.g. Christianity – did not just happen magically with the Bible in the form it exists today, but through different versions and contributions (from the Apostles), translations and retranslations. People also forget that it is the New Testament about Jesus Christ that defines Christianity. Likewise with Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and other major religions. Maybe the story with Islam is different? I don’t know.Recommend

  • Epic fail

    My thoughts exactly. I started off with great expectations from the title but the article was dissapointing & ‘tantrummy’.Recommend

  • hammurabi

    People don’t judge you on your beliefs ,they judge you on your actions.Correct yourself instead of taking on the critics like Bill Maher..Recommend

  • Nerd Army

    For once your reply isn’t making sense.Recommend

  • Parvez

    A religious scholar very correctly said that I welcome criticism of both myself and my religion……..because I firmly believe that my religion is strong enough to withstand criticism……and for myself I will try and convince you and if I fail……you are free to go your way and me mine.Recommend

  • hammurabi

    typical mindset of self denialRecommend

  • runcotvs

    I thought the twin problems of Identity Crisis and Denial of realities is limited to Pakistan. But I’m wrong. It is a pathological failing of Muslims in most Islamic countries if not all. The cause is Islam as it is practiced and interpreted. What a shame for a religion that was the engine of great thought and creativity once upon a time. I posted other critiques earlier but The Tribune rejected them. Did I not say? The Denial factor is pathological and pervasive. It reflects not only insecurity but also a lack of intellectual integrity.Recommend

  • Ram

    Let’s look at the fact that no one can deny the word terrorist almost become synonym with Muslim in western world (it is a bitter truth), It becomes responsibility of Muslims (1.6 billion) to show the world that Islam has nothing to do with these terrorist. If I were a Muslim leader or a scholar I will condemn and encourage all my followers to find these terrorist punish them as per sharia for blasphemy. The worst blasphemy is using Islam by so called Muslims to achieve there own political agenda.

    It becomes responsibility of sane Muslims to fight these terrorist, You should try to explain why do Osama Bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh choose to hiide in Pakistan where 99% are muslims, why do Lashkars and gangsters like Dawood live freely in Pakistan , Pakistan with fifth largest army in the world should go after these terrorist organization No because USA wants you to Because you real mean when you say Islam is for peace. As per Islam you show other cheek when one slaps you on other

    I agree Islam is a peaceful religion but most of Muslims does not deserve IslamRecommend

  • fit

    Congratulations you too suffer from the disease of criminal over-generalization.Recommend

  • SaadiaUk

    Liked it! Recommend

  • SaadiaUk

    Difference is in the distinction between religion and follower. Thanks for your letter. Sparking interest!Recommend

  • Kamran Usman

    Great article! Agree with her. Dear Author, don’t worry about the hate filled comments and their likes, the problem is twofold: 1. There are far too many indian trolls here and 2. They are overly obsessed with Pakistan.Recommend

  • captain pasha

    But this is 21 th century.Now those countries who were fighting in ww2,ww1 those are most liberal and created trade cooperation so they are the developed ones.If thatRecommend

  • Petar

    It would be funny if it is not so sad – Only contra argument you made to Bill Maher is the one with Nobel prize winners and how many of them are woman – Most of those Nobel prize winners are for people who fought against prejudice . Rest of your article was usual liberal yawn about NO to stereotype and generalizing .

    P.S.S. Not all generalizing is wrong – exp. 90% of people in Africa have black skin .
    BILL MAHER is right on this !Recommend

  • proud to be a muslim

    “why its always the non-muslims who end up cleaning the mess?”..because it is actually they themself who creats such mess..isis and taliban are not MUSLIMS..they are only highlighted charaters or rather say puppets of america and israel to creat misconceptions about islam and to actually have the reason of conquering muslim countries.its a big monopoly. you see what they want you to see! you listen what they wants you to listen.many people have proved that 9/11 was pre-planned..but they didnt highlighted their documentary.why malala was highlighted only! why not all those innocent girls who were killed by drone attacks.who were rapped by non muslims in syria, iraq.palestine…?? why the whole muslim community is suddenly being abused just after 9/11? why america is still there in afghanistan when they have already killed ossama.why non muslims can have the freedom to speak and muslins cannot even have the freedom to wear hijab.why every non muslim has given the right to speak only against islam..why dont they speak against any other religion? why only muslims have to be humiliated???Recommend

  • Arthur Dallas Appelgren

    You seem to be more identifying all Muslims as being united more than Bill or Sam. Sam said nothing of the sort actually. But at the same time, can you answer the question, do you think Apostasy is something that should be punishable by death? Or displaying an image of Muhammad? Just curious which of the various sects do you identify with?

    Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Zikari, or one of the other 72 or so known variations on the school of thought. do any of them agree with the Sharia Law that calls for beheadings for adulters and apostates, cutting off hands for thieves etc.

    Just curious.Recommend

  • Art

    You say you can take a joke, but then admonish Bill Maher for telling his Mafia joke (it was obviously a moment of humor injected into the serious discussion). Can you or can you not take a joke?

    Also, the Mafia “joke” was apropos (as good humor usually is). The Mafia was not simply a small number of bad guys doing bad things. It was an institution, with a code of conduct, and a hierarchy of leadership and authority. It offered peace, as long as you did what it said. It also intimidated people both within the institution and those on the outside of it, its enemies. It (not everyone in it, but the institution) used violence as a tool. And, tellingly, it dealt harshly with those who criticized it and tried to leave it, or “get out”.Recommend

  • JayMankind

    Who says so?Recommend

  • http://calebpowell.wordpress.com Caleb Powell

    Congrats, Faryal, you’ve just made Who’s Who in Islam as an Apologist.Recommend